Saturday 16 December 2017

'Eddie has been snatched from us by a horrible crime'

The victim: Eddie O’Connor
The victim: Eddie O’Connor

Anne Sharkey

A widow whose husband was gunned down by his nephew has said her family has been left with a cross to bear for the rest of their lives.

Father-of-one David Cully (24) was jailed for life yesterday for the "brutal murder" of Edward O'Connor

Cully, of Kilshane Road, Finglas West, Dublin, had admitted killing his uncle but denied murder, claiming he fired "in the heat of the moment" after the victim made a comment about somebody who had made an allegation of sexual abuse against Mr O'Connor.

The Central Criminal Court heard the 41-year-old died of two gunshot wounds to his back. A jury convicted Cully of murder at Ballycoolin Road, Finglas West, Dublin on December 15, 2013, after more than eight hours' deliberation. The pair had met at a 'straightener'. - an organised fight between two other men.

Prosecutor Pauline Walley read a victim impact statement written by Charlotte O'Connor (42), the victim's wife and childhood sweetheart.

Their children Darren, Tanya and Eddie had their father taken from them in a horrific manner, she said.

"Eddie was a hard worker and a real family man. He always made time for his three children. He was proud of the three of them. They idolised their father," she said.

"It is hard to look at them trying to get on with their lives - there will be a massive void. Upcoming birthdays, graduations and weddings will be tainted.

"Eddie has been snatched from us by a horrible crime."

Mrs O 'Connor said that after allegations were made against Eddie he "never had a moment's peace".

"It broke Eddie's heart," she said. "I think about Eddie every minute of every day. I ask myself why me and my family have this cross to bear for the remainder of our lives - the brutal circumstances in which Eddie was taken away from us.

"Eddie's plan was to retire at 50 and move to a holiday home. I miss everything we did together. We had so much more to do together in life - the anger will live with me forever," she added.

Mrs O'Connor thanked gardai for their support, thanking in particular the three female gardai who came to the scene as the deceased lay dying, giving him CPR.

"Nothing will bring Eddie back to us. I no longer feel I have something to live for. To have someone taken away from you is a burden no woman should have to carry. We love you, Eddie," she concluded.

Defence barrister Caroline Biggs said Cully had 29 previous convictions for misuse of drugs, theft, road traffic offences and fraud.

Sentencing, Mr Justice Carroll Moran sympathised and said: "There is a sense of regret at a life needlessly lost."

Irish Independent

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